Corporate and private financial contributions to support FFA totaled $16 million for programs in 2011, according to the organization's fundraising arm, the National FFA Foundation.
The good news on the financial front follows an earlier announcement of a record membership in FFA of 540,379 students, including more than 17,000 students in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands signing up during the 2010-11 school year.
The foundation welcomed 40 new corporate sponsors in 2011, raising the total number to 1,212. Three new corporations combined for a $3 million gift to FFA. The foundation also drew more than 80 new companies and organizations as exhibitors at the 2011 National FFA Convention & Expo, the nation's largest gathering of students. More than 53,350 FFA members, teachers and school administrators attended the 2011 event.
"We were well positioned in 2011 with the resources we needed to ensure our members received the ultimate FFA experience through our programs and key initiatives," said National FFA Foundation executive director Rob Cooper. "Our core programs, including career development events, proficiencies, scholarships, award competitions and more, were funded at 90 percent – another record high. Without the commitment of our donors, it would be impossible for FFA to make a meaningful difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of students."
Providing opportunities that help FFA members grow and succeed is the work of the National FFA Foundation. Foundation donors make possible award and recognition programs, scholarships, service learning activities, global engagement programs, national FFA convention functions, educational materials, teacher training and much more.
Created in 1944 and governed by a 19-member national board, the foundation gives companies, organizations and individuals opportunities to provide financial resources and cooperation in support of FFA programs and other agricultural education organizations. Since, the foundation has raised more than $216 million to support FFA and agriculture education.
The National FFA Organization provides agricultural education to 540,379 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,489 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.